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Teala's Wickedly Cool Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

EVE Online: Hunting for the elusive, 'la petite mort'.

Posted by Teala Friday August 13 2010 at 4:01PM
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Playing EVE is like having sex while enduring a root-canal at the same time - it can be a pleasurably painful experience. No seriously...there is so much right with the game, and yet so much wrong, that I think most players are willing to endure the bad to get to the good - even if the good only last for but a brief time - sorta like hunting for the elusive 'la petite mort' (when the sex is not all that great --- if you know what I mean?) .  Now I am not saying outright that EVE is a bad game, on the contrary, it is a great game; that once you have really started to play it, and get into it, there is this great game in there.  Soon, though, you start to notice things...things that are not kosher in the least, and sometimes downright painful things to endure - yet we must, because EVE’s designers must secretly wish to be dentist, and watch their players squirm, while giving them a root canal, and tickling them.

I am going to give you some examples from someone(me) that primarily mines ore in game. That is all my character does mostly is chew asteroids, day in, and day out. In the process of being a miner I have found many things that just annoy the bejeezes out of me, and I cannot help but wonder why some of these annoying aspects exist in game.

For instance.

You warp into a bookmarked asteroid belt location that you set using an asteroid from the belt as the target for said bookmark(saves you time doing this so you do not warp to the belt beacon that is anywhere from 25-45km from the nearest asteroid, making you have to travel in a slow arse moving exhumer to get to within range of the asteroids you intend to mine). Here is the problem though. If you warp into the bookmarked asteroids location at the wrong angle, or the wrong trajectory, and end up dropping out of warp next to an asteroid, your ship gets ejected from the belt at extreme speeds, sending it careening off away from the belt. You cannot stop the ship from doing this. Mashing the stop ship button has no effect. It just goes flying off(at some incredibly high speeds for an exhumer - I had no ideal my ship was capable of such awesome speeds without a micro-warp drive and even then, a micro-warp drive cannot match the speeds that bouncing off an asteroid can produce!), and eventually it decides when it no longer wishes to be traveling at 500+ m/s - and by that time, you find yourself wasting time turning your ship around, and flying back the 40+km distance your ship just traveled. To those that play. You know this to be true. You also know that warping in at 10km distance does not solve the issue either, 90% of the time, because the game will still warp you into an asteroid and ‘zing’’re sling-shot off toward anywhere, but where you wish to be.

(Note to new players: In order to avoid this - drop an empty canister about 10km from the asteroids you wish to mine and bookmark it and this will not be a problem for you - drop it to the side, top, or bottom of the asteroid belt - never within the asteroids themselves, as this would defeat the purpose - and then just warp to zero on that bookmark.)

Another thing that annoys me while mining,(and you learn really fast is), do not mine from among the asteroids. Seriously...if you get in there, getting out is nearly impossible...keep your distance and here is why. Because of the way the collision system and hit boxes of objects in game are done, you can collide with things before you actually make real contact. You can be 100 meters from some things, and this can send your ship spinning off away from the object. If you are in a nest of asteroids this will have the effect of a pin-ball machine smacking around that silver little ball. Yes...again this is true. Once your ship gets to bouncing around in there it is nearly impossible to get it out. Your ship will just bounce around between the ‘roids and you can’t tell it to stop, and you will never warp out of it either. You just have try to pick a spot in space, and double-click it, and hope that your ship turns toward the direction free of asteroids, and doesn’t ricochet off the asteroids you are trying to free yourself from.

Another thing that I find kinda silly, and makes me scratch my head, is the way I can go into overhead view, and have my ship be able to show my every object in a given distance from my ship, merely by clicking on what I wish to see on my overviews list.

For instance.

Since I am a miner, I can go into the overview display controls and pick from among the list of many things like asteroids, stations, and such. Clicking on the word asteroids displays a long list of all the types of asteroids I can choose to have my overview display, at anyone time. So if all I wish to see are Scordite asteroids, I click on the little box, and instantly all the asteroids near my ship that are Scordite pop up on my overhead view list. Doesn’t matter if it is 200+km shows up. Now here is where this becomes an issue.  It is so cool that my ship, without a survey scanner, can not only see at great distances - but it can discriminate out everything I do not wish to see on my overview. If all I wish to see on my overview is Scordite based asteroids - my ships built in scanner and overview display can do this. However! --- my ship fitted with a tech II survey scanner can only scan out to 22km, and you cannot discriminate what it scans in the way of asteroids.  Want to talk about wasting time training up a skill only to find it is is pretty much useless! is. Why bother training up a skill like survey as a miner, when the ships built in system scans further(instantly mind you - no cycle time like a survey scanner has) and can discriminate out all the other stuff you’re not interested in? Makes no sense whatsoever, and when it dawned on me just how useless survey scanning for mining is, I was like ‘crap I wasted time training that when I could have trained a more important skill!’

(Note: The only benefit survey scan has is that it tells you how much ore an asteroid contains in units.)

::sigh:: Lame.  Seriously...didn’t the guys at CCP see this? Did they just write up a bunch of skills to add to the game(survey being one of them) and toss it in and say - ‘Hey look, look at all the skills you as a player have to choose from...we have this and this and this and this...and...’ to make their game see more complete than what it is? Honestly.   So here is an ideal.

Remove the stupid ability for ships to see asteroids without an actual scanner, so that all that time we spent training survey was worth the time, and effort! Second...not only increase the speed at which the survey scanner scans at per cycle, per skill point, but also extent it’s range accordingly, so that it actually gets better as you train it! Also! Allow us to discriminate out everything except for what we are looking for! The ship can do it! Why can’t a survey scanner, that is suppose to be worth having, do it?! Seriously...I am not trying to be mean here. I am trying to figure out CCP’s reasoning behind this, and why they did it this way because to be honest with you - it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever - none.

One last thing about scanners...have them constantly on when we click them, and then have them, in real time, monitor the amount of ore still contained within the asteroid, so we know how much remains as the lasers removes ore. For those of us that are not macro-miners(bots) it would be nice to see that we’ve depleted an asteroid, and can turn it off, and start mining a news one - instead of wasting half a cycle time on a mining laser that has all ready finished mining all the ore from the asteroid. Please! One of the most annoying things is to be mining an asteroid that has like 25k units and instead of your mining laser just shutting off automatically when the asteroid is depleted - it just continues to run for another minute, mining empty space! A, real time, ore amount monitor would greatly be appreciated! Please!

Mining lasers are so frakking cool! Seriously...I love to listen to their pulsing sound, I actually find it relaxing when I am listening to it and some music while mining. One thing though that I noticed is that the laser color itself is always the same color no matter what ore or what laser crystal you have installed. This can lead to issues between other miners when you pull into a belt and start mining. I’ve been sent messages from other miners asking me what ore I am mining because they like to think they claim dibs on certain ore in that belt, because they got there first. Cool...I am completely OK with this, nobody wants to move in and start scarfing up asteroids on someone else, trying to scrape up the little amount one might find of a certain ore: in a given belt, in a given system.  So here is a suggestion CCP - give us colored lasers based on the type of crystal we are using or the type of ore we’re mining. There are more hues to the color spectrum than just yellowish-orange. Really...not only would it help us miners to see instantly what others are mining, but it would be very pretty to have different colored lasers as we mine. Red, purple, green, some with sparkles(some with - some without)...just anything would be so much better than the same-old, same-old, confusing light-show we currently have. Please.

Please --- please, increase the distance a mining exhumer can target another ship! Even with long-range targeting almost maxed - you’re telling me I cannot target a ship 45km away! Why? A stupid lowly frigate can target me at that and distance and further! It is annoying to have to wait, and wait for something to get into range(especially when you have the skill trained that is suppose to give you greater range!) before you can actually target it - if it actually needs to get closer. I know there are limits based on ships type and what not, but it is crazy that a hulks targeting range is so poor compared to other ships. I’m not asking for a lot here - just enough that it gives us time to actually target something(that is not a long-range based sniper boat) before they might be in range to do whatever it is they intend to do to us. It might just give us miners(that are not botters!) the time we need to do something to protect ourselves from gankers.

There are little tricks us miners can do, to one person suicide ganker,(if they- the miner - trains the right skills and fit their ships properly) and if that ganker is not all that skilled, that will give us time to either fight or escape. So many times I have come close to being ganked, because I was not able to utilize my full set of skills and abilities at the onset of the attack. It was only due to shear luck, and quick reflexes, so far that I have avoided being ganked and I generally escape with my ship spewing fire and smoke. I, and I am sure many other miners, would appreciate it if we could make use of our skills that require targeting other ships. By us not being able to target ships at greater distances in our exhumer’s, we’re at even a greater disadvantage due to the fact that we’re not using a combat vessel to face a combat vessel. So please...not asking for a lot here...just 15 to 25 more km. That isn’t to much to ask for.

Another thing that is mining related that is painful to deal with is transferring ore from a barge/exhumer to an Orca. Yes...CCP we have a problem! Why is it that if I am moving ore from say my items bay on board a station to my ship and the ore happens to be in a quantity that is to much for my ship to haul it ask - “The ships hold is not capable of holding x amount of ore - do you mind if we only transfer what it can hold? Yes or No. yada, yada, yada” Cool...makes it less painful when this happens don’t you think? I thought so too and I applaud you for that....however, why doesn’t it do this when transferring ore from an barge/exhumer to an Orca? Why? Seriously...why doesn’t it do this? When the hold is almost full and you try to top it off - it doesn’t give you the little question. No instead it requires that you pull out a calculator and to perform math, to determine how much room is left in your Orca’s hold so that you can transfer the right amount without it rejecting the transfer. Funny thing is that the Orca pilot can transfer Ore from the corporate Ore hold to the Ocra’s own cargo hold and it works as it is suppose to, and will ask if you wish to transfer only enough to fill the hold. If the Orca pilot tries to transfer the Ore from the Ore hold on the ship to the corporate hold on the ship - no go...if the amount exceeds the amount of space that is left in the hold. Again you have to pull out the calculator and do math. Hey I do not mind it...really, I am just curious why it works only in certain instances and not all of them. I just find it a little mind boggling that it only works in certain instances...I guess those particular holds sensors are pre-year 32000AD and cannot assist the pilot with the transfer of ore the way other holds can do.

And one of my other main gripes is...we spend all this the time training to be miners and to be the best at it, yet when we do finally reach the pinnacle of mining we find out that from tech I to tech II mining crystals we get .125 greater yield. Yep... .125 is all you get. I know I was astounded to learn that that is all we get, for taking the all that time to get into tech II crystals, and all we get is a meager .125 more yield. Don’t believe me...look for yourselves. A tech I Veld crystal has a modifier of 1.625x and a tech II has 1.75x - crystal stats below.

What kind of gratitude is being shown to players that painstakingly endured the time it takes to train up to be able to use such an item only to learn that it is only .125 better than a tech I version.  That is not love you're showing us...that is more like - here, let me whip you with a burning leather strap, then rub salt in your wounds afterward.  OK...maybe I am being a little over dramatic...OK...maybe a lot,  that doesn't excuse you from this.   We do what you ask and train, and train, and train some more, and all we get is a little more crumbs.  I feel like poor little, trembling, Oliver Twist, holding out his bowl for a few more scraps of gruel asking, "Please, sir, I want more." it to much to ask for a bit of a boost - didn't we earn it?

I do not think mining is the only profession in EVE that has its issues. I haven’t spent enough time doing much else in EVE other than mining really...oh I do some salvaging now and then and a little trading...but haven’t really dove in deep enough in those aspects of the game to make any kind of assessment to the problems other professions may have, and I am sure there are plenty if mining is any indicator to the rest of the game. I know it seems like I am knit-picking and really hammering EVE lately, but come on --- the game has been out for 7 plus years, and these things are still an issue. I have just touched on a few of the things that miners have to deal with --- just a few. There is more, less annoying, but still annoying things(what the frak is up with anchored containers anyway - the largest only holding 3,900m/3 at a time - really CCP?! Really!)...just do not have the time to list them all right now...those I’ll save for another day and another entry. ::sigh:: Polish CCP - polish...that is what makes a great game awesome, and that is what makes an awesome game a great lover - to the fans that love MMORPG’s.

Where is the love CCP - where is the love? ::sniffles:: We fans love you, and your game, and we show it by saying as much, and by continuing to play --- and what do we get from you? We get our teeth pulled, and our fancy's tickled, and then just before 'la petite mort' --- you excuse yourself, roll over, and go to sleep!

How is that fair?!

EVE Online: Macro-Mining in Game is Hurting Legitimate Players

Posted by Teala Saturday August 7 2010 at 6:10PM
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::jumps onto her soap box::

I have kept quite about this since I began playing EVE, but alas I cannot stay quite any longer. EVE has a serious problem and it isn't just lag - it is macro-mining(aka botters). What is macro-mining? Marco-mining is where a player uses a system of either third party applications(software) or keyboards that can store commands and repeat them allowing for a player to walk away and the computer will essentially play the game for them. 

In EVE, one way of making use of this afk-macroing system is to mine asteroids. This allows players to basically mine asteroids 23/7(only 23 hours a day because the system goes down daily for server maintenance) and this can really hurt the legitimate players that play the game as it was intended and for them to be present at their computer while mining, because most legitimate players cannot stay on their computers 23/7.

You may ask, “How do afk-macro-miners hurt the game?” Because there are so many of these people that set up afk-macro-mining and basically mine 23/7, they can mine millions of tons ore daily. That adds up when you have hundreds of players doing it. First, it swamps the market with ore. This drives the price down. Second, these macro-miners wipe out whole systems of asteroids in a day and leave little for legitimate players to mine.

Let me tell you my story and maybe that will help shed some light onto this issue.

I run a mining corp. I go out to my usual area that is generally full of asteroids one day and nothing is there. So I try another belt, nothing there. Then another...same. I am like what the...

So I head to another book-marked asteroid belt and I come across four hulks and an orca. They've chewed through most of the belt. I am like -- OK, no biggy, I'll just go to a different belt - there is like 18 in this system. Of the 18 asteroid belts in the system, two had enough ore worth mining. The rest had been mined out. I am cool with happens sometimes. The problem is I come across this same outfit day in, and day out, mining the asteroid belts. So I watched how they operated for a bit and I started to notice a pattern and that they always did the same thing everyday like clock-work. They(the orca and 4 hulks) start at one asteroid belt on one end and work their way around until all the asteroids are gone. The orca was making runs to the station and returning as if a player was present. Turns out there is nobody running them. They are all run by macro's.

I found this out by another player that use to be in the corp that these ships belonged to a corp that uses macros to mine via local chat.  I was like, you've got to be kidding me. He said no he wasn't.  He said that two of the players use macro's to totally automate their mining op’s, so they can play their other accounts doing missions and what not. So I is cool, but they are mining all the asteroids in this system and leaving nothing for me. I play late at night most of the time and by the time I get on they've cleaned the system. He said he had reported them to CCP but nothing happens. I asked him why he left them and he said it was because he had left the game for a bit and came back and they had booted him from the corp. He tried contacted them, but they would not respond. So he just gave up. Now he just runs missions.

Well, I cannot compete with this - so I move to a new location, completely out of the region I was in, and as far away from the main throng of systems high-sec players normally congregate in, to get away from things like this. Things are going good until - yep you guessed it - macro'ers show up. First there was just a couple and only using hulks. Then this one group moves into the system and started using hulk's and orca's. All automated! All afk-macro-mining.

So once again I pick up and leave and head to a new system. This one is awesome. Lots of belts rich with ore. Couple of weeks ago I find out that half the corps in this system are all macro-miners by one of the players that also runs a mining corp out of the same station I do - again, via local chat. I was like, OMG - you've got to be kidding me right - I just left a system full of botters? He said no he wasn't. He started naming the members of the corps he use to belong in and the ones that do macro-mining and he said he could prove it because if anyone was actually on they should respond to threats of being suicide ganked at any minute and they don't. They just sit there and keep mining away because there is nobody there to answer the threat. I asked him to prove it.

So he did...he got into one of his Tempest, and sure enough, the first player he picked failed to respond. He gave them ample time and numerous chances to respond and if they didn't answer or move their hulk to safety he would destroy it. Nothing. He destroyed it.

I said, so this macro-mining is rampant all over the game isn't it? I explained that I had moved three times to try to get away from them, and I am getting tired of having to pick up, and leave to look for a new system to mine in. He told me, good luck, because he's been doing the same a lot longer than I have. He reports and nothing happens, so he tries to deal with it by suicide ganking the most blantant macro-miners in the system --- to no avail mind you, they are back to macroing that next day. He looses a BS and takes a security hit on one of his alts, trying to stop the macro'ers. Which is just totally wrong. He shouldn’t - we shouldn’t, as players, have to do this.

So here I am at my wits end with but one thing to do now, (because it is crazy that we have to continually look for a good system that is free of macro-miners that is not in low-sec, or null-sec space), write a blog to warn other potential players of one of EVE's failings and that is the game is rigged. It is rigged against legitimate players who wish to make mining their characters profession, because CCP fails to address the rampant afk-macro-mining that takes place in their game. How can we legitimate players even hope to compete against players that can set up multiple macro-mining accounts that are running 23/7 in game? This is a serious question and I would just love CCP to answer it for me. My petitions just seem to disappear and not get answered. No response on their forum boards, except from people who clearly deny there is an issue or are botters themselves.

If you expect us, that play in high-sec, to police this issue ourselves, then you provide us the ships and do not drop our security rating every time we take out a macro-miner. Because, if we have to do it, that is the hit we take. A loss of a BS and a hit on our security rating. It isn't worth it and we shouldn't have to do it - you should, CCP. We may play your game, but the running of it is your responsibility, not ours. It is your responsibility to make sure that people are not cheating and this is clearly cheating.

Suggestion: (one that was slammed on the forums - but I know would work - and it was slammed because clearly there are people that can see the potential of it actually working and putting a stop to the macro-mining and this scares them) All you need to do is when someone’s character goes into mining mode(whenever they target an asteroid and start mining it) is have a random code of letters and numbers appear in a box, on the screen and request the player attending the mining ship input that code within a given time frame(say 2 minutes).  If they do not input the code within the given time - they are booted from the game. This would pop up at random times, every so often, to ensure that a player is actually present. Simple. hard is that to implement?

That is just one solution. I have a few more suggestion, but I am not going to freely give them away...I'm just a player and do not work for your company - I just play your game and I shouldn't have to be the one to come up with a solution - you should. If you do wish to have my other solutions - I expect a check in the mail.

It has been going on for a very long time it seems.  How rampant of issue is it?  There are websites dedicated to helping players set up macros to mine with.   There are "how to videos" on Youtube even.   So this issue needs addressed sooner rather than later because it is not going to go away unless CCP actively persues to put a stop to it.  I really like your game CCP, but if you wish to keep me as a paying customer - fix your game!

::jumps off soap box::

Net Neutrality - The Internet as you know it is coming to an end.

Posted by Teala Thursday August 5 2010 at 9:29AM
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This is going to be one of my shortest blogs to date.  I am a little pissed right now.   Google said that they were for Net they say they are not...why?  Because they made a backdoor deal with Verizon that would allow them to pay more to Verizon for their Internet content to get to their users faster by buying up bandwidth.   I told you in my Net Neutrality piece that if we lost it(Net Neutrality) this is what would happen.    It is happening just as I(and many others) said it would and soon you'll have to pay more for the Internet and more for the content you wish to see, because the telcom companies are going to be putting restrictions on their bandwidth and if a company cannot pay for the bandwidth - to bad - so sad.  Read the article here.

Google makes deal with Verizon  <<  clicky

Say goodbye to some of your favorite websites.  Say goodbye to some of your favorite MMORPG's.   If the FCC doesn't grow a pair soon and shut this kind of corporate control down the Internet as you and I know it will no longer exist.  It will be slower and more restrictive than ever before.

EDIT:  Another Article <<<< clicky

Googles stance on the Internet and Net Neutrality from 2006: "Today the Internet is an information highway where anybody - no matter how large or small, how traditional or unconventional - has equal access. But the phone and cable monopolies, who control almost all Internet access, want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block the on-ramps for those who can't pay."

That was then...back in 2006.   They have done a 180 and I for one will no longer support Google.   I, from this day forward will boycott all Google products and services, and urge as many others as I can to do the same.  If you are using a Google Tool Bar - please uninstall and in the questionaire that follows when they ask why you are uninstalling it - tell them you will no longer support a company that would help kill Net Neutrality.


Here is an article on then president-elect Obama stood on Net Neutrality, and how he vowed to have laws passed to protect it - can we say another broken promise and total fail. 

Article of President Obama and Net Neutrality <<<  clicky

I am telling you.  If the US government doesn't stop this from, I, and everyone else is going to be paying a lot more, and get less, and the Internet as we know it will be no more.


UPDATE!  FCC Abandons Efforts for Net Neutrality  <<< clicky

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